Hammerson presents Half Year Results (UK)

Hammerson plc has announced its unaudited results for the six months to 30 June 2005. In the first six months of 2005, net rental income reached £101.3m (2004: £96.2m), profit before tax increased 21.6% to £247.3m (2004: £203.3m) and earnings per share reached 72.2p (2004: 94.5p), which is a decline of 23.6%.

Key points

  • There was an underlying valuation increase of the portfolio overall of 5.1%, or 6.2% excluding the effect of the withdrawal of relief from UK stamp duty land tax in disadvantaged areas.
  • Adjusted net asset value per share increased by 9.6% to £10.36.
  • Net rental income increased by 8.0% on a like-for-like basis. Property disposals reduced income by £10.2 million compared with the first half of 2004.
  • During the first half of the year, the group invested £183 million. The disposal of properties raised £217 million, 15% in excess of their book value at 31 December 2004.
  • The loan to value ratio was 42% at 30 June 2005.
  • Since 30 June 2005, the group has acquired its first retail park in France, Villebon 2, near Paris, for £104 million.
  • John Nelson will become Chairman on 1 October 2005, on the retirement of Ronald Spinney.

The Chairman, Ronald Spinney, commented:
"I am pleased to report a further robust performance by Hammerson in 2005. Adjusted net asset value per share increased by 9.6% to £10.36, whilst adjusted earnings per share was maintained at 14.3 pence. The interim dividend has been increased by 6.4%.

During the first six months of the year, the group concluded two major office lettings in London and Paris and benefited from the first rent reviews at The Oracle shopping centre in the UK and from indexation of rents from its French assets. It expanded its retail parks business with the acquisition of a scheme in Kirkcaldy, Fife and the completion of Cyfarthfa Retail Park in Merthyr Tydfil. Several future development projects were advanced, including major retail-led city centre regeneration schemes in Bristol and Leicester and the redevelopment of the former Stock Exchange buildings in the City of London. Some £217 million was raised from disposals, including £179 million from the sale of 14 boulevard Haussmann in Paris.

The group's balance sheet and financing structure remain sound. The group has the resources to unlock the potential from the developments currently underway and from the projects in the pipeline.

I believe Hammerson is well placed to achieve good income growth from its reversionary retail portfolio, notwithstanding some uncertainties over trends in consumer expenditure in the UK. In addition, there is an encouraging improvement in demand for office accommodation, both in central London and Paris, and this should enable the group to achieve further lettings in its office portfolio."

Source: Hammerson

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